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A reticulocyte count is a blood test that measures how fast red blood cells called reticulocytes are made by the bone marrow and released into the blood. Reticulocytes are in the blood for about 2 days before developing into mature red blood cells.
The reticulocyte count rises when there is a lot of blood loss or in certain diseases in which red blood cells are destroyed prematurely, such as hemolytic anemia. Also, being at high altitudes may cause reticulocyte counts to rise, to help you adjust to the lower oxygen levels at high altitudes.
A reticulocyte count is done to:
You do not need to do anything before you have this test.
The health professional drawing blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.
A reticulocyte count is a blood test that measures how fast red blood cells called reticulocytes are made by the bone marrow and released into the blood.
The reticulocyte count is given as the percentage of red blood cells that are reticulocytes (the number of reticulocytes divided by the total number of red blood cells, multiplied by 100).
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Results are ready in 1 day.
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
CitationsFischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Other Works ConsultedChernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Current as of: April 29, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineBrian D. O'Brien MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineJoseph O'Donnell MD - Hematology, Oncology
Current as of: April 29, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell MD - Hematology, Oncology
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